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Elder Law

Elder Law

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Elder Law

Elder Law is a specialized field of practice that focuses on the needs of the elderly, the disabled and their families. Working closely with you and your loved ones, our certified elder law attorneys and professionals will develop compassionate strategies that protect your assets, provide for optimal long-term healthcare, and ensure that your assets and final wishes are efficiently passed on to your beneficiaries.

Healthcare Planning, Coordination + Benefits

Government Benefit Planning

The estate you’ve worked a lifetime to build can be quickly depleted due to the high cost of medical issues and long-term healthcare. While there are numerous programs and services for the elderly and disabled that cover these costs, finding and understanding them can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you navigate the government benefit maze, file the necessary applications and advocate for you if any issues arise with your application or the benefits you receive.

Medicaid Planning

Families that are confronted with serious long-term healthcare needs are often faced with the prospect of financial devastation. Proper Medicaid planning allows you to minimize the financial burden of expensive long-term healthcare and spare your loved ones the frustration associated with establishing long-term care. We provide a wide range of Medicaid planning services, including capital preservation plans, spend down strategies and crisis intervention advocacy, so you can make a seamless transition from private pay to Medicaid.

Healthcare Coordination

We go above and beyond most law firms by offering a highly experienced team of client care coordinators who advocate for our elderly and disabled clients. Whether your loved one is living at home, an assisted living community or a skilled nursing facility, you’ll be comforted by the fact that their care is supervised by someone who is well-versed on the availability, cost and quality of local resources. Our care coordinators deliver compassionate, hands-on service, including regular visits to ensure your loved one’s needs are being met, and frequent collaboration with geriatric care managers, social workers and other professionals.

Guardianships

Guardianships are frequently used to ensure proper care for individuals with physical or mental disabilities. The appointment of an uncontested guardianship can appear to be a simple proceeding, but the process is often fraught with pitfalls and emotionally demanding situations. We pride ourselves on making this emotional process easier on the family and friends of the proposed ward. If you are considering initiating this process, we can explain your options and offer guidance regarding the court proceeding, and the ongoing judicial oversight of your duties and responsibilities.

Trust + Estate Services

Estate Planning

We’re here to ensure that your estate planning wishes are realized in a coordinated and thoughtful manner. We accomplish that by designing bespoke strategies built around your specific legal, financial and medical concerns, as well as your family’s unique dynamics. But we’re not just about strategy – our team of certified elder law attorneys and professionals will be right alongside you, actively guiding you and your loved ones through every step of the planning, probate and administration process. We handle a wide range of issues, including:

 Wills
 Revocable Living Trusts
 Powers of Attorney
 Health Care Directives
 HIPAA Authorizations
 Irrevocable Trusts
 Life Insurance Trusts
 Family Limited Partnerships
 Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
 Gift Programs
 Retirement Trusts
 Minors’ Trusts
 Special Needs Trusts

Estate Administration

Estate administration is the process of distributing your assets to your heirs or beneficiaries after your death, as well as resolving final obligations such as debts, expenses and taxes. Our attorneys have administered hundreds of estates, including the distribution of probate assets, which must go through a court-supervised process before passing to a beneficiary.

Estate Litigation

Many individuals are overwhelmed by the prospect of resolving a dispute involving the estate of a loved one. Not only are there legal and financial issues to tackle, but emotional ones as well. Our attorneys and former judges frequently find amicable, cost-effective resolutions through the mediation and arbitration process, and when necessary, through litigation. We handle estate dispute matters in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado, and address a broad range of issues, including:

 Will Contests
 Removal of Fiduciaries
 Trust Reformation
 Will and Trust Construction
 Accounting Disputes
 Improper Disputes
 Improper Gifts and Transfers
 Misconduct by Power of Attorney

Trustee Services

In many situations, your loved ones are not in the best position to serve as a trustee, or they lack the time to effectively serve in that capacity. When that happens, smart families and individuals turn to us. Besides bringing our experience and compassion to the table, we’ll ensure that the various professionals that play a role in your trust, including accountants, financial advisors and care management professionals, are acting in unison and in your best interest.

Special Needs Trusts

We offer a full range of services for families with disabled individuals, including drafting and executing special needs trusts, and serving as trustees. Through a special needs trust, a beneficiary can receive gifts, lawsuit settlements and other funds without being denied eligibility for government programs such as SSI and Medicaid. A properly structured special needs trust can also be set up in your last will and testament, as a way for you to leave assets to a disabled relative. We also help our clients establish supplemental benefits trusts, designated to protect the inherited assets of physically or mentally disabled individuals.

Executor Services

When it comes time to execute your last will and testament, our elder law attorneys are there to deliver a trustworthy and unbiased outcome. There are many reasons you might want to engage a trusted advisor to handle this process. Maybe you don’t want to burden your close relatives with the execution of your final wishes, or possibly your family dynamics warrant the use of a trusted advisor to complete the process. Whatever your motivation, you can count on us to deliver an efficient result.

January 11, 2022ALF Medicaid vs. SNF Medicaid

Assisted living facilities are a housing option for people who can still live independently, but who need some assistance with their daily activities. Costs can vary greatly depending on location and services offered. Medicare won't pay for this type of care, but Medicaid will, subject to the assisted living resident meeting certain requirements....

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January 7, 2022ABLE Accounts vs. Special Needs Trusts: Why Not Have It All?

If you have a child with disabilities, it is crucial to set money aside for the child's future. At the same time, you need to consider your child's access to public benefit programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as the state and federal tax implications. The two major vehicles to accomplish these goals, ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs), each have their advantages and limitations. Using them in tandem may be the optimal strategy for your child with special needs....

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January 4, 2022Annual Gift Tax and Estate Tax Exclusions Are Increasing in 2022

The amount you can gift to any one person without filing a gift tax form is increasing to $16,000 in 2022, the first increase since 2018. The federal estate tax exclusion is also climbing to more than $12 million per individual....

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December 27, 2021What Are a Special Needs Trustee's Record-Keeping Duties?

One of the most important roles in a special needs plan is that of trustee, the person who administers a special needs trust (SNT). Of a trustee's many responsibilities, record-keeping is perhaps the most crucial. Because the trustee is managing accounts on behalf of someone else, every decision must be recorded with a paper or digital record. Here's a detailed look at the types of records the trustee must maintain....

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December 23, 2021Supportive Housing Programs Offer Integrated Solutions for People with Mental Disabilities

Since the 1960s there has been steady reformation of mental health care in the United States. One of the most visible signs of this effort is the movement away from treatment in large state mental hospitals and towards community care. But "community care" encompasses a great number of programs, from treatment provided in group homes to interaction with a social worker to job training and other vocational training centers. One of the programs on the cutting edge of community mental health is called "supportive housing," and it incorporates not only housing but social services and medical care as well....

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December 22, 2021IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2022, and They Look Pretty Familiar

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amounts taxpayers of different ages can deduct from their 2022 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance, and the figures are almost the same as in 2021. Many types of medical expenses are deductible from your taxes. To claim the deduction, your total unreimbursed medical expenses (which can include premiums for "qualified" long-term care insurance policies), have to be more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income in 2022....

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December 16, 20215 Estate Planning Tips for the Non-Traditional Family (Which Odds Are Includes Yours)

Is your family of the "Leave It to Beaver" variety -- opposite-gender parents, the first marriage for each, one or more kids, all healthy and thriving? If so, your estate plan will probably be pretty straightforward. But if not, it's not as simple and you have a lot of company. The percentage of married households in the United States fell from 75 percent in 1960 to 49 percent in 2020. About 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Nearly 80 percent of people who divorce remarry -- accounting for a pretty large proportion of the 49 percent of American households that are married....

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December 20, 2021Can You Be Buried With Your Pet?

Pets are often regarded as a part of the family and increasingly their needs are accounted for in planning decisions. There is health insurance for pets, and most states allow for "pet trusts" to ensure that a cherished animal will be cared for after the owner's demise. But can you and your pet spend eternity with each other as well? The answer depends on what state you are in and on the meaning of "with." Most states either have laws specifically prohibiting pets and humans to be buried together or are silent on the issue. But a growing number of states are adopting laws allowing some form of combined burial....

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December 13, 2021The Affordable Care Act's Estate Recovery Catch-22

Medicaid is a federal program administered through the states at the county level, and created under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1396 to 1396 w-5. The various Medicaid programs in New Jersey all fall under the umbrella of "NJ Family Care." The most recent major expansion of the Medicaid program at the federal level occurred on March 23, 2010 when the Affordable Care Act a/k/a "Obamacare" was signed into law....

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December 10, 2021What It Means to Need Nursing Home Level of Care' for Medicaid Eligibility

When applying for Medicaid's long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must demonstrate that you need a level care typically provided in a nursing home....

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December 7, 2021Who Makes Health Care Decisions If You Can't?

Being able to make health care decisions for ourselves is so important to us, but what happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice your opinion? If you don't have a health care proxy or guardian in place, state law chooses who can make those decisions....

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December 6, 2021Medicare Premiums to Increase Dramatically in 2022

Medicare premiums are rising sharply next year, cutting into the large Social Security cost-of-living increase. The basic monthly premium will jump 15.5 percent, or $21.60, from $148.50 to $170.10 a month....

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November 24, 2021Decisions to Make for Your Power of Attorney

A power of attorney may seem like a simple document, but there are several important decisions that need to be made when creating one. From whom to appoint to what powers to grant, care and consideration should be put into each choice....

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November 22, 2021The Benefits of Including an LLC as Part of Your Estate Plan

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are an important tool for small business owners, but they can also be useful in estate planning. An LLC can help you pass assets to your children while avoiding gift and estate taxes....

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November 16, 2021Hiring a Caregiver: Should You Employ One Yourself or Go Through an Agency?

Most seniors prefer to stay at home as long as possible rather than move into a nursing home. For many families, this means eventually hiring a caregiver to look after an aging relative. There are two main ways to hire someone: directly or through a home health agency....

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November 12, 2021COVID Vaccination Information Added to Medicare's Nursing Home Compare Site

Individuals who are researching nursing homes can now see staff and resident vaccination rates along with other quality and safety measure information at Medicare's Nursing Home Compare website....

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November 11, 2021The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

If you're like most people, you have the best of intentions regarding how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, without proper planning, your best intentions may not be enough. Here are six of the most common estate planning mistakes people make....

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November 5, 2021This National Long-Term Care Awareness month, make the decision to be proactive about future planning.

November is National Long-Term Care Awareness month! Here are our top five tips for anyone considering a long-term care placement:...

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October 18, 2021How to Use Intrafamily Loans as Part of Your Estate Plan

When interest rates are low, intrafamily loans can be a good way to assist a relative (typically a child) with purchasing a house or a family business, and in certain circumstances they can be used to gift money to the next generation....

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October 13, 2021Passing on Assets Outside of Probate: PODs and TODs

For a variety of reasons, people sometimes want some or all of their assets to pass directly to specific individuals upon their deaths, outside of probate. One way to accomplish this is to set up a "payable on death" (POD) account for money in a bank account or a "transfer on death" (TOD) account if funds are in a brokerage account....

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October 8, 2021Do You Need a Lawyer to Write a Will?

A will is a legal document that directs who will receive your property when you die. The legal requirements are pretty simple. In order for your will to be valid, you must know what property you have and what it means to leave it to someone, then sign the document and have it witnessed according to the laws of your state....

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October 5, 2021Make Sure Your Estate Plan and Other Essential Documents Are Safe from Disasters

It's an unfortunate reality that with the increasing number of natural disasters across the country, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, the chance that you could lose your house and possessions has become more likely. In the event of such a calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach and easily retrievable....

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September 27, 2021Medicaid's Bias for Institutionalized Care May Be Shifting under President Biden's Proposed American Jobs Plan

Medicaid is a federal program, administered through the states at the county level, and created under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.A. S. 1396 to 1396 w-5. The various Medicaid programs in New Jersey (all falling under the umbrella of NJ Family Care) are overseen by the Department of Human Services' Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services ("DMAHS")....

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September 17, 2021Recreational Cannabis Has Come to New Jersey, but the State's Medical Marijuana Program Remains Largely Inaccessible to Populations Most in Need

New Jersey's Medical Marijuana Program is administered through the State Department of Health's Division of Medicinal Marijuana. New Jersey was the fourteenth (14) state to legalize medical marijuana in January 2010 when the Legislature passed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act ("CUMMA"), also known as S 88....

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May 3, 2021Fact or Fiction: I Know This Much Is True

HBO's I Know This Much Is True chronicles the lives of identical twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, both played by Mark Ruffalo....

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March 12, 2021Fact or Fiction: Reviewing 2021 Golden Globe Nominated Films about Elder Law and Special Needs Issues

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February 10, 2021What's in a Name: Why the Title on Your Financial Accounts Matter

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February 9, 2021A Primer On New Jersey's Court Rules for Guardianships

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January 25, 2021Should Medicaid Beneficiaries Worry About Their COVID-19 Stimulus Payments Counting as Income?

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October 29, 2020Richard Miller Honored at New Jersey Judiciary's 2020 Pro Bono Attorney Recognition Event

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September 22, 2020Richard Miller and Shawn Brown Presented on NJSBA Webinar on Guardians Ad Litem

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13 MarFifteen Mandelbaum Barrett Attorneys Named to the 2020 Super Lawyers List and Two to Rising Stars

Mandelbaum Barrett is pleased to announce that fifteen of our attorneys have been selected by their peers as New Jersey Super Lawyers* for 2020. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state of New Jersey are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. In addition, the Firm is excited to announce that two of our attorneys were named to the Rising Stars list for 2020, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys age 40 or under or who are in practice for 10 years or less. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. This year's Mandelbaum Barrett Super Lawyers include:...

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February 27,2020How To Contest a Will in New Jersey

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February 5, 2020How to Become a Legal Guardian in New Jersey

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January 22, 2020Small Estate Threshold Raised in New York

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November 11, 2019Are Self-Driving Automobiles the Future for the Elderly and Disabled?

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March 28, 2019Shawna Brown Answers a NJ.com Readers Question on "I own a home with Mom. Can she qualify for the Senior Freeze?"

Shawna Brown, an Associate in Mandelbaum Barrett's Elder Law Practice Group answered a nj.com readers questions about whether or not an elderly mother can apply for the Senior Freeze if she shares a home with her daughter. Click here to read more....

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March 5, 2019Mandelbaum Barrett's March 2019 Elder Law Alert

Mandelbaum Barrett's March Elder Law Newsletter is now available. This month's issue discusses paid family caregivers through Medicaid, protecting your house after you move into a nursing home, and more. Click here to read this month's issue....

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February 11, 2019Mandelbaum Barrett's February 2019 Elder Law Alert

Mandelbaum Barrett's February Elder Law Newsletter is now available. This month's issue discusses Medicaid home care, costs of new long-term care insurance policies, and more. Click here to read this month's issue....

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February 1, 2019Richard Miller Spoke with ROI-NJ on Divorce and Remarriage Among the Aging Generation

Elder Law Chair Richard Miller spoke with ROI-NJ on divorce and remarriage among the aging generation and the financial consequences. Click here to read more....

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January 7, 2019Mandelbaum Barrett's January 2019 Elder Law Alert

The January Elder Law Newsletter is now available. In this issue you can read about Medicare Part B, Understanding Medicare's Hospice Benefit, and more. Click here to read this month's issue....

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December 6, 2018Mandelbaum Barrett's December 2018 Elder Law Alert

The December Elder Law Newsletter is now available. In this issue you can read about Medicare Supplemental Coverage, Nursing Home Surveillance and more. Click here to read this month's issue....

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September 24, 2018Mandelbaum Barrett's September 2018 Elder Law Alert

Check out our latest Elder Law alert that deals with a recent change to VA benefit rules by the VA. Click here to read more....

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September 5, 2018Richard Miller Spoke at Brightview Senior Living

Richard Miller, Chair of Mandelbaum Barrett's Elder Law Practice Group presented on September 5, 2018, to seniors at Brightview Senior Living in Randolph about "The Myths and Misconceptions of Elder Care Planning."...


July 30, 2018Richard Miller Answered a Star Ledger Readers Question on the Importance of Having a Will

Richard Miller, Chair of the Firm's Elder Law Practice and a Certified Elder Law attorney, recently answered a Star Ledger reader's question on the importance of having a will....

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July 16, 2018Essex County's Top Lawyers List 2018

We are pleased to announce that seven of our attorneys have been voted by their peers to be included in Morris/Essex Health & Life Magazine's Essex County's Top Lawyers List for 2018. Congratulations to Barry R. Mandelbaum (Real Estate), Robin F. Lewis (Real Estate), Richard Miller (Elder Law), Vincent J. Nuzzi (Criminal Defense), Michael Saffer (Commercial Litigation), Lynne Strober (Family Law), and Doug Eilender (Land Use and Environment)....


13 Feb2017 Mandelbaum Barrett Year in Review

We are pleased to share our 2017 Year in Review which highlights some of the Firm's notable successes during the last year. We are thankful to our clients who have allowed us to continue doing what we love. We continue to expand our practice areas and bench to reflect our clients needs....

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11 OctRichard Miller answers NJ.COM Biz Brain Reader's Question on New Jersey Inheritance Tax and the new Governor

Richard Miller, the Firm's Elder Law Practice Group Chair and Co-Chair of its Special Needs Practice Group, was recently asked by nj.com to answer a reader's question on New Jersey's Inheritance Tax and his thoughts on what the new Governor will do. Read Richard's response here: https://lnkd.in/epeAwEi...

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22 SepRichard Miller to Speak at NJICLE Program on "Handling Contested Guardianships"

On Thursday October 5th Richard Miller, Chair of the Firm's Elder Law Practice Group and Co-Chair of its Special Needs Practice Group will be presenting as part of a panel on "Handling Contested Guardianships"at the New Jersey Law Center. This NJICLE course will cover what to do when the matter unavoidably ends up in a courtroom. Attorneys can learn tools to effectively represent their clients and learn about the latest cases dealing with guardianships and what the holdings mean to you!...

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23 JunRichard Miller answers NJ.Com "Biz Brain" question on Lowering an Estates Value Before Death

Richard Miller, Chair of the Firm's Elder Law Department, was featured in today's Nj.com "Biz Brain" section answering a readers question on lowering an estate's value before death. To read the full question and Richard's answer, click here....

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21 JunRichard Miller Answers NJ.com "Biz Brain" Question on the Inheritance Tax in New Jersey

Richard Miller, Chair of the Firm's Elder Law Department, is featured in the June 21, 2017 nj.com "Biz Brain" section where he answers a readers question on the inheritance tax....

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19 JunShawna Brown Joins Mandelbaum Barrett's Elder Law, Trusts & Estates and Special Needs Groups

We are pleased to welcome Shawna A. Brown who has joined the Firm's growing Elder Law, Trusts & Estates and Special Needs Practice Groups as an Associate. She focuses her practice on estate administration and litigation, including contested and uncontested probate, administration and accounting proceedings. Prior to joining Mandelbaum Salsburg, Shawna was an associate at a New York City law firm where she counseled the Public Administrator of New York County in connection with estate administration. She earned her B.A. from Rutgers University and her J.D. from New York Law School. She is admitted in New York and New Jersey....

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On behalf of the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Inc., and the 30+ family members in attendance last night, I want to thank you for your most informative presentation. As expected, you were terrific in explaining often confusing topics for many of our families and showed them patience and respect as the true professional that you are. We heard from a few families today that called to thank us for inviting you as they felt it was a very valuable session. Next week when we reconvene, I will get more feedback and will inform them of the waived consultation fee. I hope that many of them use your talk last night as the impetus to stop procrastination. I love Mandelbaum and they are my “go to” law firm for everything legal for all my clients an family.

~ Marvin


"I wanted to let you know we are extremely pleased with your referral of Richard Miller. The guy knows he stuff, great listener and has really impressed us. We just finished up with all the estate docs and the process could not have been better thanks to Richard. Thanks so much for the awesome referral."

~ Matt